Beagle | Dog Breed Guide

Beagle | Dog Breed Guide

by Scritch

Beagles are well-known for their hunting instincts. They have a nose for everything, but they are loyal and happy dogs.

Weight - Female: 20-22 pounds; Male: 22-24 pounds

Height: 13-15 inches

Life Expectancy: 13-16 years

Group: Hound group

Temperament: friendly, curious, and determined

Energy Level:

Ease of Training:

Grooming Requirements:

History and Personality

The origin of the “beagle” name is uncertain. However, many believe that the name is derived from the Old French word “begueulle”, which means shouting person. This breed’s history is not as distinct as other breeds because they didn’t entirely develop until the 9th century. There are Greek documents from 400 B.C. that describe beagle-like dogs. The Romans could have brought small rabbit-hunting hounds with them to England and bred them with hounds.

Today, beagles are known as gentle, determined and sweet dogs. Beagles spend much of their time trying to outsmart other dogs. They need early socialization and exposure to many different people, experiences, sounds, and sights while they are young. Socialization is critical to allow a beagle to develop as a well-rounded dog.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), a beagle should have a “miniature foxhound” appearance. A true beagle will have a well-proportioned body and large expressive eyes. A beagle’s color is usually the traditional tricolor: red and white, lemon and white, or tan and white. There is a less traditional blue tricolor. Coat colors vary from different shades and patterns. Their muzzle is long and squared at the end. A beagle’s ears are long enough to reach the tips of their nose. You know a beagle’s eyes when you see them—it’s almost as if they look like they are always begging for something.

Fun fact about beagles: They are used as scent detection dogs in United States airports. Because of the breed’s gentle approach, they can search for drugs and illegal weapons without making passengers nervous.

Training a beagle can no doubt be a challenge. This breed is highly determined, so they may do their own thing. However, just because they may not respond instantly to commands, a beagle will quickly figure out how to overcome obstacles that prevent them from getting something they want.

A beagle loves to go outside and explore. They love to roam around outdoors and need plenty of exercise. However, they are not large dogs and should be okay living in a small area like an apartment, as long as they get exercise. Beagles are usually sweet dogs and are good around kids if they are socialized with them from a young age. Because of their playfulness, they shouldn’t be left around small children because they could knock a child over on accident. This breed is an even-tempered dog and is usually okay with other dogs. Some people feel that beagles have the instinct to chase small animals, so they are hesitant to introduce them to cats. If raised with a cat, beagles are typically okay with cats in the same home.


Beagles have short hair and don’t require professional grooming. Everything can be done from home. While they need occasional baths, they should not have frequent baths as it can dry out their sensitive skin. Bi-weekly baths are ideal. It’s not uncommon for a beagle to be scared of running water.

Energy Level

A beagle can sometimes be a couch potato, but once you mention the word “outside” or grab a leash, they typically bolt towards the door. Beagles can have high-energy and love to roam and run outside. Not only do beagles need physical activity, but they need mental stimulation as well.

Health Concerns

  • Glaucoma
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Epilepsy
  • Distichiasis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cherry Eye
  • Chondrodysplasia
  • Deafness
  • Keratoconjunctivitis
  • Umbilical Hernia

Routine veterinary appointments are important to monitor any potential health concerns. There are exams used to identify these conditions such as thyroid, eye, and hip tests. These exams may get costly, especially if your beagle ends up having one of the health conditions. Pet insurance can take the stress off and save you money.